Ice spire

Welcome to Wednesday where we look at twists and turns that our party will encounter evidence on that they are not alone in the ranges and that time is of the essence in travelling through the valley when creatures are killed for pleasure, not food.


Threaded

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The dusting of snow between the ranges was miraculously thin on the frozen mud of the road yet it piled up next to the rocky cliffs and trees either side of the road where the wagon squelched behind an anxious draft horse.

The weather had turned slightly to the worse, small flurries of snow had begun to drift down upon the wagon but it it wasn’t the weather that was cause for concern, the sheer number of tracks from spirit folk and the creatures that called this valley and mountain ranges home were the source of growing concern. It was beginning to be unusual to see a section of snow that didn’t have discarded cloth, foot prints or even bones of a meal and they all seemed to be heading in the same direction. The trees offered some protection from the snow regardless and while the party wasn’t used to this level of snow and cold but the wagon was kitted with double walls and a level of cloth and material on the inside that made the inside comfortable if not cosy.

The old grey stallion whinnied and the wagon came to a stop as the horse spooked and started to retreat backwards causing the wagon to lurch before the wheels met snow by the side of the road and stop abruptly. “It may take me some time for me to be able to convince this old thing to move forward. But what ever is spooking it isn’t far from here and I’d rather be prepared than having to make a quick exit from this valley.” Jason called as he tried to pull the horse into line.

Leaving the wagon and moving forward as quietly and stealthily as possible the party moved further into the valley as a strange and foul smell crept down from the wind that swept down into the valley from the peaks above them. Up head the snow had been disturbed and great furrows had been embedded into the frozen soil, similar to the ones that they saw on their approach into the village before the ranges. A wide crescent of fresh footprints gave a wide berth to the marks and from the looks of them the creatures that made them were scared, terrified even. Looking around for traces of what could have caused the owners of the footprints to act as such they eventually drew their investigation to the valley walls above them and there they saw the cause.

A great rupture of spikes made from the same ice that they had a shard of burst forth like lightning made from ice. The dark blue of the ice as it erupted from the stone face extended into the middle of the valley, a good sixty feet from the wall and at the end of each of the spikes that had erupted forth resided a skewered creature. Oni, ogres, Nat’s and even bears the size of the wagon they travelled in lay skewered on the ice, pushed on with enough force to pierce even the stone-like hide of the Nat. Looking at the ice as it had exploded out the trees themselves had their upper branches frozen, splintered and a few shards of frost encrusted splinters of wood lay just under the surface of the snow.

The ice must have been so cold that there was very little blood from the creatures that hung their, rigid and dead and what blood there was hung like frozen spears of ice suspended fifty feet in the air above the area where the scrape was. Something or someone would have had to have done this and to best that many creatures at once would indicate something both large and strong beyond anything that the party would have faced thus far.

Returning back to Jason they found him having blindfolded the horse and moving towards them and when he saw the gruesome display the colour drained from his face. “I have known some of the creatures of the ranges to be vicious but to be cruel like this is another level. We can make it through the ranges today if we hurry but it will get dark early inside these ice covered walls so we can’t dally any more.” he urged as he ushered them into the back of the wagon to join Kuang, Kyoko and Hana. “Hold on, we won’t be slowing down for some time and I pray that the old horse makes it.”


Well another twist Wednesday has come and this week we have revealed a grisly scene where something or someone has slaughtered creatures, animals and the spirit folk (such as Nat’s and Oni) and strung them up like shrike impaling lizards, insect and small mammals on thorns.

Not revealing the true face of the opponent is something I am not quite sure on yet, but so far having to describe what it does, elude to it but not yet reveal it completely is something I am enjoying but wondering if its having the desired effect. What do you think?


Thanks for joining me tonight and for reading the shrike-inspired part of this adventure. Don’t forget that if you want to name the village the party visited leave a comment below and if I like it I will name the village after your suggestion and to do so make sure to come back daily to keep up to date on the progress we make, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Firelight

Welcome to Wednesday where this week we are looking at what has happened in the Kugani Ranges recently as well, more importantly, what happens when the sun goes down. Without too much waffle and giving things away let’s kick it off.


Flight by Firelight

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The plains were just as beautiful on sunset as they weren’t hours earlier and as the sun turned the sky the colours of autumn the party set up tents that they adorned with a charm that supposedly would keep spirits and the fey away from them. Sitting down to a meal cooked over the coals the party made small talk with Jason who had joined them to camp out on the plans as the town had shunned him just as they did the party.

Jason revealed more about his past, about how he had lost his father early in his life, a mercenary fighting for gold and glory whilst his mother had worked hard to give him the opportunities in life and now he was selling wares on a distant land so that he could provide a comfortable life for his mother who lived in Shuimu.

Saying goodnight to the party Kuang went to his own tent while Kyoko and Hana went to separate tent leaving the party and Jason to organise watch rotation for the night – just in case the night and light from the fire brings the creatures that hunt in the dark.

It wasn’t until after the moon reached the cusp of its travels across the night sky that the first signs of something amiss appeared. A vibration through the ground that the person on watch noticed first before waking the others. Gathering around the firelight heartbeats turned into the vibrations continued and gradually increased as the moonlight shone across the plains catching movement across the plains like a drift of snow moving in a straight direction – but the light from the fire, distance and how the moonlight trickled through clouds above made it difficult to see what was going on. Soon though the ground began to shake with such ferocity that lose stones, the utensils used to cook dinner and even the doors on the wagon began to shake and bounce in place as the vibrations turned from a little tremor to a thunderous cacophony.

As the party went back to back around the fire a gust of wind rushed past them all but extinguishing the fire as dozens if not hundreds of white shapes darted towards them from the darkness from the direction of the village. Thundering hooves, broad antlers and glowing white coats meshed together to form a wave of flesh as the crashes around the party, forming a wide berth around the tents as if it was a boulder in the path of a raging river. The tall fox-tailed elks madly rushed around the camp, pushing each other to avoid the camp but also driven by fear or madness to stampede past the party in a blur of white fur, broad antlers and the thunderous explosion of noise that their hooves on chilled soil created.

After a minute the last of the stragglers ran past and into the distance, the plain flattened in a straight path that was easily sixty feet white and went on for as far as the moonlight and the parties vision could see. Looking in the direction they came from the party could see them continuing to stampede into the distance until the moonlight no longer revealed the beasts in their frantic pace to get to where they were going, or away from where they were leaving.

The rest of the night went fine with the party and those on watch who had a quieter duty, albeit more alert and potentially spooked, and by the mornings first rays of light the full devastation of land was revealed. Several dead or dying Elk were found scattered across the hills, gored and crushed by their own kin as they stampeded which Jason, Kuang and Kyoko aided in their passing to end their suffering where possible. Looking in the direction they had come from it was plain to see that the source of their stampede lay back towards the village some way and the party would need to make a decision to investigate or move on and through the pass.


It’s a relatively easy part of the adventure, build up the tension for the party with the increasing temp of the vibrations, then the cacophony of sound, then the faint movement at the edge of vision before the wave of white furred flesh breaks around them – the creatures themselves are not malicious by any meaning of the word but they are affected by the charms to some degree and treat the tents and camp as if to enter it or go near the charms would be a worse fate than potential goring or crushing.


Thanks for joining me tonight for a small snapshot of what I want to try and stress upon the importance of building up the mood and the tension of the situation. This weekend I will touch upon it a bit more so don’t forget to join me each night this week as we explore more of these lands, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Hoofprints in the snow

Welcome to the Wednesday where tonight I wanted to partake in one of my favourite past times, separating my human mind and imagine what it would be like to think, act and move like something else, in this case a beast,.


Thrill of the Hunt

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The trail before her glowed with a purple light, the footprints glowing in her minds eye as she feed dug through the frozen crust of the earth and into the ground underneath granting her faster speed and control as she tore off through the night. She would be faster if it wasn’t for the foul corpse that rode stride her back – but she who summoned her had declared that this was her will and despite her cravings for flesh there was something about the newly risen dead that churned her stomach.

Taking a sharp left around a patch of tall trees she came across a small patch of grass that looks like it was disturbed by hooves and boots, inhaling the pungent aroma or horse she snorted out and snuffled around for the other scents in the area, the zombie on her back breathed in wheezily – a muscle reflex she was sure but still the sooner she could be rid of the zombie the better. A faint sweet smell lead her to a tree – the human that walked around the horses, the only set of boot prints that moved in the area seemed to be almost expertly concealing his presence and movements, if it wasn’t for the musk of the horses and the speed at which they were moving she would not have been able to track them this far. Following the sweet smell she could tell that there was seven in total, seven humans on six horses. it wasn’t long until she picked up the trail again and in ecstasy she reared up and screeched into the sky before tearing off after the footprints.

As her clawed hooves tore into the ground as she weaved behind and around the spruces she took particular delight in the branches that crashed into the body who rode atop her causing more than once a sickening thud to resonate through the legs that gripped her chest. As she chased through the snow glazed trees she could almost see the thick musk of the hoof prints that the horses left glow in the indents in the snow. After an hour of pursuing the trail the hoofprints came to a stop by a stream and it looked like they had stayed here for quite some time. Smelling around she found the cooling left overs of a deer near by which she inhaled greedily before approaching the camp fire, the embers still giving off some warmth. They were close, chasing the sweet smell was difficult here as there were several trails of human smell; where they stalked the deer, sat, relieved themselves and ferreted for food for the horses.

The horse trials led to the stream but the humans appeared to have mounted the beasts again before entering the frigid water. Crossing the stream the train completely stopped, looking around for signs of magic, hoof prints or anything she couldn’t see anything except her own frantic prints as she hunted for her quarry. Screaming into the sky in frustration she walked back to the camp, adamant that she must have missed something she nearly buried her snout in the snow as she approached the stream. It just by chance that she looked up and saw the tiniest trace of horse hair caught on a rock as the water washed across it the stream and she grinned revealing two rows of razor sharp teeth. Clever, clever, clever she thought to herself as she looked up and down stream from where the horse hair was. Walking in the stream would mask their smell until they got out – but how far that would be, and if the prints would disappear before she got there was another question. So Northward or southward was the question and the correct answer would lead her to her prey.

Turning her snout towards the moon as it descended and the sun began to take his dominance again the Onikage made a decision and raced off north, hoping that she finds her prey soon, or has enough time to turn around and pursue them southward.


A bit of a shorter one tonight but a nice relaxing fun writeup for me which I hope painted a bit of a picture of this weeks additional content and what we expect in the end of month writeup this weekend, or what spills over into the next months adventure – who knows. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for more content, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

She who brings the frost

Hello and welcome to Wednesday night where tonight we reveal the tip of the iceberg that is The Snow Queen, the Toshio bride and the one who brings frost.

Frost Maiden

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As the woman descended the stairs the room dropped in temperature so suddenly that the collective held breath fogged the air over the table when the guests exhaled. The woman was just over five feet in height and appeared to almost float across the ground despite her white slippers that stood on the slowly frosting carpets and rugs that covered the wooden flooring.

“Ah, my queen, you have finally arrived” Teng said, reaching out and helping her towards the larger of the two seats before sitting down in the less impressive of the two. “How was the village?”

A few moments passed as the woman sat, her hair and blindingly white robe seemed to float above her skin as she sat in her throne. Her shoulder length pitch black hair a sharp contrast with the pale blue-white skin that was revealed from underneath the robes. “They did not take the blessings we presented them Lord Teng so I showed them the mercy that we do bring them. Eventually they came around and I believe their leader will come pay homage within a few days to swear fealty” The woman’s drifted over the room, pausing to look directly at Siu as well as at Kyoko and the Party. “I see you have guests, foreigners even. I had thought that they were lost to a warband of Nats, or so I had been led to believe” the woman’s eyes narrowed as she looked at Kyoko. “Why do they sit at my table?”

“My Lady, they come to request aid and return horses that my cousin, Lady Toshio, provided them when they were in need. However I believe that they had lost some along the way – which surprised me to see them present themselves before me and asked for aid despite them being now in debt to our family” Teng said with a knowing smirk, the ploy and plots revealing themselves.

Gritting her teeth Kyoko leant over the table to the party and whispered “I hope you found some evidence” before she stood up to speak. The lady in white floated upwards to also stand, her feet leaving the ground so that her head was above everyone else’s in the room as waves of cold washed across everyone present at the table shaking any remanence of doubt from the minds of those present that she wasn’t a spirit.

“You Lordship, I come before..” Kyoko began before Teng scowled and stood up angrily.

“You will address My queen!” Teng roared, visibility shaking with anger of cold one could not tell.

The spirit smiled cruelly as she taped her finger on her arm want stared down Kyoko.

A short and sweet update tonight as the next bit really is dependant on what the party managed to find, or plant, and how they navigate this political situation. Don’t worry though as more will be revealed in the coming days as we look into what happens during the confrontation over dinner, what happens after and as we move into the last few days of the month what this means for our party and Ryokughan. Don’t forget to come back for the last few days and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Chilling Silence

Hello and welcome to a Twisted-Wednesday night in the come halls of the Toshio family fort in the cold western mountains of Ryokughan. Tonight we look at one of the quietest person who walks the halls and maybe get a glimpse at something more sinister in these family halls


Silent Wanderer

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The halls were filled with noise, gossip from the families servants and guards all talking about the presumptuous arrival of the Harimasu heiress and the wounded and weary people that travelled with her. Hana didn’t see that, she saw her family and hopeful salvation. As she crept along the hallway, keeping to the shadows and doorways she watched the visitors from a distance away.

Her cousin seemed well, the foreigners she kept around here seemed strong, she even thought the powerful suited them as they walked with no sign of the conflict that she had heard about.

“You’re saying that that princess and her pets defeated a Nat army? Lead by an elder?” She heard muttered from one doorway over, peering across she saw one of the ladies of the house, one of the soldiers wives if she wasn’t mistaken.

“Yeah, we found the bodies on our patrol the day after they got here. Either the Nat’s had a turf war and the Harimasu girl came in and mopped up the fighters after they were tired or she has an army hiding in the woods outside of our lands. Either way we are to keep an eye on them, especially the foreigners.” The man who was leaning against the doorframe next to the gossiper replied, sipping from a cup of warmed alcohol. “Regardless of orders I wouldn’t trust what they have to say. I heard that the horses they brought with them were stolen from Reagent Toshio’s daughters very own escort. I knew the Harimasu family was corrupt.” the man spat onto the ground to emphasise his point.

Hana clenched her teeth at hearing the lies and if it wasn’t for her standing in the family she would correct the gossips right away, but she had learnt over the last few years that she needed to watch what she did, as she didn’t have a voice to stand-up for herself in these walls.

Moving from the doorway she followed the Harimasu party through the halls, carrying a pile of dirty linen as a way of trying to look like she was going about her daily duties. As she turned a corner down a hallway that the people went down she came face to face with the foreigners who greeted her, smiling briefly she bowed and rushed past them hiding her face from Kyoko as she rushed to deposit the dirty laundry.

Hana sighed, about the only noise she could make, as she reached the room and opened the door to the heated room. Metal pipes lead to the hot springs below and through some artifice working a lever would see that hot water enter the room and the steel basins so she could wash the fabric she unceremoniously dumped onto the floor. Looking out a window she could see the stables nearby, the wagon that was once would have been part of a caravan stood near the few horses that were lined up in the stables. She had seen the creature and rough looking people moving around the caravan, and in and out of it over the last day but it appeared that they were ignored by most other people which she found odd. She was so lost in thought that she didn’t hear the door open and close behind her.

“Have these washed for dinner” she heard as she snapped out of her thoughts. Turning she saw one of the heads of staff for the family house. Who sighed “Lost in thoughts again Sasha..” the older lady sighed. Hana, who didn’t understand why everyone had suddenly started to call her Sasha, around the same time her voice disappeared, looking around to make sure there wasn’t someone else here the head of staff sighed. “You, yes you maid. Make sure you wash these clothes for Lady Harimasu and her guest. Lord Toshio’s wife is returning tonight and it’s been requested that everything is ready for dinner for our guests.”

As the lady finished her instructions she left Hana alone in the room to hold Kyoko’s and the parties clothes. Smiling he saw hope, since that woman arrived, her voice disappeared and people forgot who she was Hana had lived in constant fear and worry of that woman. Kyoko visiting gave her an opportunity, one that meant her freedom if she could play her cards right and maybe in some time her voice and her identity would return to her.


Thanks for joining me for another night of twists and turns. Tonight we looked at the start of the end of month reveal and by the weekend the plot and months theme will be fully revealed. So on that note, don’t forget to come back for the next few nights of this week so you can keep up to date with the story as it unfolds and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Across the Rime

Welcome to Wednesday where we look at a twist or secondary plot as midweek madness takes over my brain and the weekend begins to look more and more appealing. Tonight I’ll go back to a format I love, do too infrequently but get good results in doing it. Confused? Me too so let’s kick off.


Shifting Shadow

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The milling bodies and withered husks that shifted around the rocks, roots and rotting logs did not phase the hunched creature who stared into the encroaching darkness, its unblinking orbs of inky blackness darting from noise and burst of light in the distance.

As the sun fell and the dark moon begun take its place in the sky the creatures began to move out from the twisted trees, caves and shadowy alcoves to gather under a tall twisted rock. The creature who watched this unfolding snapped harshly at a young excited creature with long arms as it bumped into his side. Growling it unfurled it’s large limbs which it preferred to lay on and began to stride towards the gathering rock, as tonight in the pale luminous moonlight they would receive instructions.

The bouncing, snapping throng formed a single breathing entity as the same manic energy buzzed around the gaki and half-breeds gathered, largest and eldest of their kind stood closest to the pillar of stone and dirt. A figure in white drifted above them, ascending the rock as if climbing into the skies itself as a Oni wearing the skin of a human stood beside it.

“Tonight,” the voice boomed from the humanoid – causing the entire congregation of beasts to still and silence, “tonight you make good your oaths to the shadow. Tonight you storm the walls from the inside, you smash their defences and, some of you may impress our Lord enough to strike a blow that the mortals won’t soon forget.” The human said causing some of the gathered to roar.

The creature below sat on its limbs again, this was hardly worth the effort of getting up from its cave. Shaking its head in disbelief as the throng of creatures rushed towards the east it wondered how long until it was told to move.

“you’ve lived for quite some time old one,” a soft cold voice spoke in its mind. “Head to the west instead, gather the stragglers as I have a more important job for you.

The creature looked around to find the source of the voice and finding nothing it decided to ignore the command.

As it stood to leave back to the dark and damp hole it lived in a cold presence shot up its side. “You are not so old to ignore me young one. This comes from the shadow as its interests are threatened. Succeed and be rewarded, ignore the call and be punished. My lord awaits your decision”

The presence drifted off, and the creature still looked towards where it’s home was. The wrath of the shadow is not something it wished for. Shaking its head it turned towards the west as dozens of smaller creatures started to skip, jump and yip around it like young excitable pups.


Thanks for visiting tonight but don’t forget to visit the next few nights to wrap up this weeks adventure, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Locust Clan

Welcome to Wednesday where I reserve this most hallowed of mid-week days to embrace plot changes, hooks and expansions into the weeks madness. This week we follow our party as they chase a mysterious man through Shuimu, one of Ryokughan’s larger cities, after he attacked Takeo in the stables with, a fluffy barb of some kind – sounds like a weird game of Cluedo but not quite – and then after witnessing what the party was investigating, and Liz’s powers, he fled.


The Swarm

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Just moments after the door closed behind the party tore off behind them, Takeo coming through and attempting to mention something but his words “Locust clan” were lost to the wind that the party left as they dashed out the door in pursuit of the man in red and grey.

It took a moment to see where the man had gone and only the flash of coloured cloth and the wide birth as if a beast had just punched past them into the road behind. It didn’t take them long to cross the distance to where they saw the man disappear and their experience of tracking beasts through the snow in Bracken hollow or being on the look out for shadow stitched in Daye came through where a boot print could be seen in a small path of wet soil on the side of the road led them further down the streets of Shuimu.

The chase, the quarry moving deeper into the streets whilst the party seemed to be gaining, footsteps, a wisp of cloth, or people helping them by pointing in a direction led them to a plaza where several merchants were bickering over some oxen-like beasts had stopped in the middle of the street and their cart had effectively blocked off the road – standing there looking for a way around the beasts and shouting at the merchant and beast alike was the man in Red and Grey.

Noticing the party had appeared behind him, or hearing their approach one may never know, the man whirled around and movement appeared from the sleeves of his robe as three miniscule darts flung forth – clattering harmlessly off the parties weapons and armour.

“I see you are much more aware and prepared now, but I fear that my patron will be disappointed if I do not return to their side again.” The man smiled, a genuine smile that lacked any malice that one may expect from someone who uses poisoned darts so easily.

“I will say that it has been some time that I have been corned like this but I do not believe that it will end favourably for you. I will grant you the opportunity to retreat now and grant you a boon. You may know my name and the name of my patron and you get to keep your memories and life. Or you can attack me and find out how far our power levels differ.” the man smiled, pausing for but a moment as the party looked amongst themselves. “To make it easier for you I will throw in one for free – I go by Sai Tsugen, my real name was lost many years ago when I was taken in by my clan. Now that was easy enough, I suggest you back off before things get serious.”

A few moments later, words being spoken in hushed tones amongst the party he smiled. “It looks like you need some persuading – then let me open up the dialogue”. A flurry of hand gestured combined with martial arts and the man in front of them started to emit a strong buzzing noise and in heart beats insects flew to him from the plants, beasts of burden and buildings around him. Jumping forward, covering ten feet in an instant he landed in a crouching stance – his arms spreading out wide as the insects followed his lead and spread out as if a wave had crashed upon the ground. The insect crashed against the party, those not swift enough to avoid them were covered in biting and stinging insects – wasps, bees, flies and locusts climbed on the party as they flew through the air while a tide of spiders, centipedes and crawling insects rushed across the ground at frantic pace to do the bidding of Sai. Another snap motion and his hand extended towards the ground where the crawling insects gathered and as if by an telepathy command they crawled over his body, and gathered into a shifting crawling mass before four heaving masses of insects stepped forward from the centralised blob – the man appeared to have disappeared into mass of insects himself.

A the attacks flew forth from the party their blades, bolts and magic sent hundreds of crawling, biting, stinging insects to the ground from their allies and from the four identical masses in front of them but as they swung, stabbed, shot and spelled their way through the bugs they would suffer a brutal biting counter attack and even the stoutest of them could start to feel the affect of one if not many of the insects poison affecting their coordination and concentration. Attacking more frantically, or targeted – who is to say, suddenly one of the shifting blobs stumbled backwards, a splattering of blood lining the ground as Sai’s form was briefly revealed.

“You found me it seems, well done. It seems out power levels are not as different as I was first to assume. But there is something you need to remember about the clans in Ryokughan – we always have another trick up our sleeve as our mission is our reason for being.” As the man finished talking the remaining insectoid body doubles mirrored the movement of the first and suddenly insects burst outwards, biting the people and animals alike in the plaza sending them running through the clearing. “I will keep my word and give you the name of my patron, there may not be many of my kind that keep their word and show honour but I am a man of my word.” a voice said from amongst the blinding haze of insects. “My patrons name is Karyn. You will meet her soon I am sure but whether you remember my generosity or not depends on your fortitude to my clans poisons.” and with that the insects slowly faded from the plaza – some still insisting to bite and sting the party as their heads throbbed painfully from the poisons that had been injected into them through mandible, fang or stinger. Looking around for Sai the party were unable to see him any where, a robe, red and grey was discarded at their feat with a small dagger that was a single main blade with two offshoots that came out to the sides to form a bladed guard, each mirroring the insectoid handle and pommel giving the blade the look of locust with a blade coming from where its wings would unfurl from.


Now a disclaimer and a note. Tonight’s writeup assumes a single path of confrontation or indecisiveness and the alternative is no-combat where they take the offer and the same result is had. I dislike combats where the party can not win – when its designed to be that way as a principle of setting up the notion of “Us vs the DM” where the Players and their characters are unable to influence or change the course of a story. When the stat-block and encounter comes out Friday I will cover the alternative where the party defeat Sai – as it is likely that they will, but the idea behind this encounter is simple.

  1. Give them the name of the aggressor for this months adventure.
  2. Give them an insight into the world that they have stepped into – Ryokoghan is different to Faerun in many ways and the animalistic clans in this contintent are just one of them.
  3. Set the scene for the weeks ahead.

The note is really simple. Karyn (Ka-rin) we have a glimpse of that name already in a previous writeup, and we should also know who that name belongs to as well if we go back a two months.

Lastly, thank you for following me through this write-up tonight, combat encounters are hard to write for me and I endeavour to get better at them! Don’t for get to come back the last few nights to wrap up this weeks adventure and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

She who walks the shadowed path

Welcome to Wednesday where we traditionally look at twists, changes and secondary story hooks that drive enjoyment and engagement for our players. Tonight I want to revisit a very special NPC that we looked at a few weeks back to tie her into the in next little while of our in adventure.


Layered Deception

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As the caravan moved further down the road away from Shuimu she rolled shoulder as the weight from the unfamiliar armour bit into her shoulder – and she couldn’t help but grin.

The distant plume of dust, and the presence in her mind told her that the horses, particularly the one she handed over to the party of adventures, were moving away from her and back towards the large port city.

“Karyn,” the voice of lady Toshio sang out from the carriage. As she jogged to catch up with the ladies carriage and the open windows. “I don’t see why I had to give horses to those peasants” Lady Toshio said, her eyes narrowing as she questioned the warrior. “my father said you can be trusted but I fail to understand why” the irritable lady asked.

“It’s best to have rivals in your debt for little things, rather than having them owe you more.” The warrior replied as she picked at something from under her nail with a small knife. “They look petty to squabble and reject small things but are looked upon more favourably for larger things. Besides I have a feeling that we will see them again soon and I’d rather be on home soil rather than on the road from a neutral city”

Sighing the lady picked at some dried fruits from a silver platter and poured herself some mild wine. “It makes sense but I dislike helping the Harimasu’s.” She muttered after a moment when she realised the warrior was watching her.

“Oh I don’t think we have helped them all that much, just laying seeds that will soon take root.” The warrior, Karyn, replied as she walked away from the carriage ending the conversation with her allies daughter. She liked this form the most out of her humanoid from, other than her own skin that is, and she had maneuvered herself to be in a position of influence where she was able to tip the scales in her favour. Looking up at the blue sky she smiled and began to whistle, a haunting and cold tune that carried in the wind. The other warriors, merchants and dignities that travelled in the caravan shuddered as they heard the tune – visions of things moving in outside the candlelight and skittering amongst trees filler their minds and somewhere in the procession a matching tune or victory started, soon drowning out her whistles. This made her grin grow wider as they travelled further into Ryokughan.

This was going to be fun…


Well thats all we have for tonight, thanks for spending some time with me here amongst my thoughts and plots. Don’t forget to come back each night as we explore more of the orient with dozens of new, unique creatures yet to be encountered and many more sights and places to see. Also don’t forget that this weekend is the end of month write up where we wrap up May and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The lost library

Welcome to Wednesday night where we look at twists, turns and secondary hooks – this week I have something hopefully exciting, a bit intense but probably not expected by the foundation I have laid down.

So before we begin I want to just announce that today I passed the 1000 views milestone – this is fairly big for me as I haven’t quite made it a whole year (starting the blog sometime around the end of August or the start of September – its been a while…) which means that its almost 3 views a day on average – that is something phenomenal for someone like me who is passionate about the tabletop and about my craft which is facilitating the sense of amazement and that visible enjoyment that the players at my tabletop (virtual or otherwise) feel. So this milestone, although is about what I have publish daily for the past while (despite some missing days) but it’s also only possible by you, the readers of this little project and outlet of mine and for that – you have my sincerest thanks.


The Danger of knowledge

220WeTDoK

Sighing Shiku withdrew the hook ended chain and recoiled it into her sleeve, “It seems like there is no dissuading you,” she said stepping aside and watching the party led by the injured Takeo, “but heed my warning the beast will return, it does so without fail, and when the last rays of sunlight touch the top of the mountain you better pray that you are off this mountain for when it finds that you have invaded its lair you won’t have a place to hide on these mountains where it wont hunt you.”

“Thank you…” Takeo stopped bowing before the monk and retrieving his throwing knife in a single motion, he still favouring his injured arm.

“Shiku, as you have discovered I am one of the Shuimu’s tail order, the last of the monks here in fact. My brothers and sisters died on this mountain protecting it from a force that we let in to learn some of our kept lore and then they used it against us. I am all that remains and I keep this place safe and well kept in the hope that one day I can atone for my sins.”

Takeo frowned but continued into the plaza beyond the gate. Several small buildings lined a courtyard where bails of straw bound together by cored stood on posts in different poses were lined up – martial arts dummies Takeo smiled as he recognised the training tools from his own youth. As the party stopped to take in the the tiled buildings, caked in vines, branches, roots and grasses that made the entire monastery appear as though it was sculpted from the earth by some giant, or dragon.

“This courtyard used to be filled with monks from my order training, sparring and teaching the ways of our guardian and first teacher, Shuimu. It was a sight to beheld…” Shiku said as her voice trailed off. “This way please, if you insist on ending your life this day then you best all be quick readers.” Shiku walked forward at a painfully slow yet graceful pace that had the adventurers stopping ever now again to prevent themselves from walking into the back of the monk. The party passed a single large building where the front of it wore a scar-like void in place of its door, splintered wood, shattered bricks and broken tiles edged the void like a wound that refused to heal. “The orders sleeping quarters, where we were attacked by the betrayers and where we lost most of our apprentices and novices in the first few moments of the battle. I have not deemed myself worthy to repair the resting place of my family yet and it remains a constant reminder of the lessons I am yet to learn. This way please” she said after a moment of silence as the party was finished staring at the hole, a perfect circle that was twenty feet wide that bore into the centre of the building.

Stopping in front of a building – the large double doors lay in fragments on the steps leading up into the hall beyond – the party stared at what was both the most rundown and the most revered building in the monastery. Shiku turned to the party, her hands buried in her sleeves “Welcome to the Five Tailed library, resting place of the knowledge of generations of monks. Before you enter, I must ask you one question. Answer wisely as if your life depends on it,” she asked staring directly at the face of the adventurers. “what do you seek this knowledge for? What do you believe gives you more right to walk these hallowed halls where dozens have died in the attempt and many have died that night after breaching the halls for their own selfish reasons?”

Nodding, satisfied by the adventurers response Shiku walked the steps and beckoned for them to follow. “The knowledge you seek shall be contained in some of our ancient tomes, I shall bring out the ones I am aware of that mention the Shadow, but unfortunately I don’t know of which tome or scroll contains the answers you are after.” Shiku went off after showing the party to a table in the centre of the library, a few minutes passed and she returned with dozens of books and scrolls. “These are but a few of the many I need to bring forth,” she paused looking at the volume. “I may be able to buy you some time tonight, I shall be able to keep the beast at bay for at least a while so that you may find more time to cure this curse – in doing so it would be a blow against the Shadow and that is a something that I wish and so too does the beast.” She bowed before moving off to return once more with twice as many books and scrolls.

It was quite some time where Takeo and the adventurers were reading the books and scrolls, each of them watching the sun disappear slowly as the day went on until, the suns last rays still touching the peak of the mountain that they could see from the front steps of the Library. A few heart pounding moments passed before where they were waiting for the flash of golden fur, for the massive ape like beast to walk through the doors and into the library but it didn’t come. Sitting down at the table they began to read the last book whilst eating and drinking a meagre meal from their rations when one of the party stood up abruptly “golden fur touched by both dusk and dawn, once plucked by the emissaries of wind and fire can banish the shadow that wounds as if a bruise when drunk as a draught with the water cupped in the lotus flower.” Staring at each other for a moment, their relief and exhaustion after reading for several hours straight and having found the passage that they believe would cure not only the refugees but for Siu – their moment of elation was ended quickly…

Initially it sounded like distant thunder except the water in the cups they had on the table rippled as if a heart beat. Strong, consistent and powerful like that of a drum beating against the very walls of the mountain. Boom, boom, boom, the pounding continued causing dust to fall down upon the adventurers as they looked around the room waiting for some golden nightmare to appear as the last of the suns rays disappeared from the building, plunging the room into shadows. The only light now produced by the lanterns hung about the room by the monk as she departed on her mission to keep the beast at bay. The drumming stopped for long enough for the party to have a glimmer of relief before the silence was shattered by an explosive roar – one of pain, hatred and pure fury as the pounding began quicker. The vibrations now able to be felt through the ground before the crack of stone and rumble of a mountain crying could be heard. A few tense moments later a large crash of stone on stone could be heard from outside and the vibrations stopped.

Leaving the library slowly and cautiously the party crept forward with the scroll that mentioned the cure in hand. Where the outer wall met the gatehouse a large boulder now lay, the dust settling slowly revealed large chains tied around it and a path of destruction down from high in the mountain behind where the monastery was built. Slowly the party noticed a shift in the space around the boulder and their hearts sank into the pit of their stomach as what appeared to be rubble moments before pushed itself up, shaking its rippling golden fur, sending the dust and debris from its massive form shedding the illusion of rubble as a giant golden ape sat up, a tuft of silver hair tinged with gold was shrinking slowly and turning golden as the beast looked up at them, remorse, sadness and fear in its eyes as the silver hair slowly turned golden.

“Hide… quickly… it’s too late to run” Shikus voice came from the ape creature before the last of the silver hair disappeared as the last rays of sun disappeared from the peak of the mountain and the ape closed its eyes.

A moment of silence, perhaps two where the heart beats of the party were the only noise in the monastery before the apes eyes flew open. Gone was the kind caring eyes of the monk they had med earlier that day and they were replaced by fury, hatred and violence. – the tips of now-golden hair from its head glowing for a few moments as they reflected the setting of the sun and the beginning of night.

Suddenly the beast roared, a force so powerful that the party could feel it in the ground beneath their feet as it lunged at them – chains in casing its wrists now only visible as it tried to claw its way towards them the party – the boulder embedded in the wall shifting forward from the power of the beast.

“Run and hide!” shouted Takeo as he sprinted, faster than anyone could have expected from a wounded man – the party moments behind him as the sound of unfettered rage and straining steel rang from behind them.


Alright – hopefully I was able to get across the message and point of this adventure – some foes can’t be bested by sorcery or steel and the best option is the shortest path between you and cover. This weeks adventure is one of discovery, plans and stealth. How to steal strands of hair from a beast that is powerful enough to make the earth shake? Well our party will have to work that out and hopefully the dice are on their side. Don’t forget to come back the next two nights to get the last of the content before this weekends write-up (which spells the end of the month!) oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The ascent

Hi all and welcome to this weeks twist day, Wednesday, where I want to lay the foundations down for connection the days which will see the party approaching the last known location of the monks and, well, thats the twist.


Chilling respite

219WeCR

The purchasing of provisions was made easier due to the gossip that spread like wild fire from the ships crew and the refugees. Tails of the foreigners that has stormed an Oni bastion and bested their leader only after convincing an entire race of notoriously vicious marsh dwelling tribes of toad-kin to turn on their chiefs to fight with them soon spread.  Soon the party were aware of people staring and whispering amongst themselves and when a calculating or criticising eye was cast towards them it was a moment before someone leant against their ear and soon the gaze changed to one of reverence and respect, or fear.

The party were able to acquire most of their supplies with a heavy discount, their newfound fame and reputation preceding them in most vendors but a few, those sponsored by a rival family to the Harimasu’s. Here the prices were increased so much that the savings from the other vendor’s were taken up nearly instantly.

As they left the city the now familiar tawny hawk flew from the top of the gatehouse and drifted along the wind currents above the road towards the mountain ranges in the distance. The horses that Kyoko had found for them proved strong, reliable and fit which enabled them to make good time.

Watching the hawk dart ahead under the canopy of leaves and branches above was the only sign that they were still on the right track, maybe. The hawk had been disappearing for a few moments piercing through the top of the trees before returning a few minutes to indicate the party to continue following. About a day up the mountains the party stopped nearing a small waterfall fed crisp cold pool of water.

Setting up camp not wanting to be travelling these parts at night the party watched as Takeo, the man-hawk flew off towards the mountain peak again to scout the way forward for the next morning, but the party got the feeling that they were lost. Soon the crackle of wood splitting and burning on the firepit greeted the setting of the sun and soon the sounds of singing insects and calls from Nocturnal animals joined the fires chorus.

As the party settled down they marvelled at how quite the surrounding area was. A few birds were high off the ground in nearby trees and calling to one another but the movement of beasts and creatures in the darkening woods beyond their campfire light was never towards them, as if they hesitated to approach the light and party.

As the night went on the birds started to get quieter until the only sound was the bubble of the waterfall and crackling of the fire. Despite the coldness of the water there was a sourness to it that caused the party to decide to drink from their water skins instead. Cracking of twigs near the waters edge caused the party to flinch but apart from moss covered rocks and bushes. A few moments later and a hawk crashed through the branches above, shifting and turning into a human as it crashed amongst the group.

“Run you fools. It’s upon you!” Takeo cried as he nursed his left arm.


Well the thought of drinking full bodies water, see what I did there, is sure to leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. Thanks for joining tonight and don’t forget to visit tomorrow where I look to hopefully work on a battle map and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe